We talked before about author John Scalzi’s recent book The Kaiju Preservation Society. Well the prolific author is back with another interesting take on science fiction tropes with Starter Villain. “Inheriting your mysterious uncle’s supervillain business is more complicated than you might imagine. Sure, there are the things you’d expect. The undersea volcano lairs. The minions. The plots to take over the world. The international networks of rivals who want you dead. Much harder to get used to… are the the sentient, language-using, computer-savvy cats. And the fact that in the overall organization, they’re management.” The book just hit the shelves this week, from Tor, in hardcover.
Reggie (voiced by Will Ferrell) is a cute, scruffy little mutt who lives with his owner, Doug (Will Forte), who hates Reggie. Reggie was actually adopted by his ex-girlfriend, and Doug blames Reggie for her leaving him, despite the fact that he is generally a terrible person himself. He only kept Reggie around just to hurt her.
Doug continuously tries to get rid of Reggie, who believes the frequent trips far out into the country ending with a tennis ball thrown into a random field followed by Doug not waiting for him to bring it back is a game. Reggie seems not to realize that this is not fetch until, out of desperation, Doug leaves him in a city over two hours away. There, Reggie meets Bug (voiced by Jamie Foxx), who finally is able to explain to him that what’s going on here is so not fetch. Reggie and his new friend, as well as Hunter (voiced by Randall Park) and Maggie (voiced by Isla Fisher), decide to make the arduous trek back home, not to reunite Reggie with Doug as dog and master, but so Reggie can seek revenge for his mistreatment, specifically by biting Doug’s penis off.
Bear with us here, as if you just watch the following trailer, you may be a bit confused as to what it actually has to do with the furry fandom. You'll just have to take our word that there is actually a fairly important, fun furry character in this series, despite the fact she's in less than a second total of the trailer. (If the video below isn't visible, try this link.)
Star Trek: Lower Decks is the eighth television series (if you count streaming series as such) and the second animated series in the long running Star Trek franchise. The first three seasons of the show are available from the Paramount+ streaming service; the fourth season will begin airing September 7. In a tribute to the original animated Star Trek series's catperson alien Caitian crewmember Lt. M'Ress, Lower Decks's supporting cast includes Dr. T'Ana.
Welcome to the August edition of Digging Up Positivity! with:
- Various conventions and charities around the world
- New Irish convention starting out strong
- Lion cubs born in Dutch safaripark
- A long overdue classic animated movie finally being released on Blueray and more animation news.
- A walk through the British furry fandom’s memory lane with GamePopper’s Furtannia, and afterwards I am announcing the winner.
But first, the conventions:
The Great Wolf Pack ®: A Call to Adventure is a 45-minute 2D animated mini-movie produced in 2022 by Great Wolf Resorts, an American chain of family-friendly hotels featuring indoor waterparks. Most of the animation was outsourced to Mexico, directed by Chris Bailey and written by Kent Redeker. The IMDB page mentions an additional writer I couldn't find in the closing credits, M.J. Offen.
The movie is for young kids and can pretty much be skipped. There's a group of young animal friends in the forest: Violet the wolf and Sammy the squirrel (action girls), and Oliver (a raccoon tinkerer who always talks using the most loquacious and unnecessarily wordy vocabulary), who are joined by newcomer Wiley (the
coyote wolf), and finally Brinley, a young bear with self-confidence issues, who of course gets chosen as the Special One by a spoon-wielding spirit and is given the Magical Rock to guide them on their quest.
The two gold standard TMNT movies, at least for me, are the original live action version and the original animated version. Going the other way, I think the most recent live action movies, plus the third movie in the original trilogy, are a bit over-hated, but still weak. Meanwhile, the movie that most resembles the newest movie, Mutant Mayhem, at least in my reaction to it, is The Secret of the Ooze. They’re both fine, and a lot of fun, and I think a lot of both casual movie-goers and series fans will enjoy them. But they’re not my favorites in the series.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, directed by Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears, is only the second animated feature for the Ninja Turtles (at least theatrically; various feature length spin-offs of the animated series have gone direct-to-video/streaming/television, but I’m ignoring them), which is surprising, because if there’s one franchise that feels like it just needs to be a cartoon, it’s this one.
Recently I attended CanFurence 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario. It was a good time! Previously I'd gone in 2016 for its first year, then later in 2021 and 2022. There's a really good established core of staff and volunteers that make it happen.
It's been growing at a decent pace, now with 1107 people, up from 863 last year, and it's the fourth-largest Canadian furry con. The cons up here are in two clusters. March is when Furnal Equinox and VancouFur happen; while Fur-Eh, CanFurence, Wild Prairie Fur Con and Camp Feral are all during July and August. We also may soon have another camping con, Camp Mani-Toebeans.)
The Amazing Maurice (trailer) is a 93-minute UK-Germany computer-animated film released in late 2022. Directed by Toby Genkel and Florian Westermann, the screenplay by Terry Rossio (Shrek, and many others) is an adaptation of the 2001 children's fantasy novel The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett.
"One day, when he was naughty, Mr. Bunnsy looked over the hedge into Farmer Fred's field and it was full of green lettuces. Mr. Bunnsy, however, was not full of lettuces. This did not seem fair."
-- from Mr. Bunnsy has an Adventure
Set in Pratchett's Discworld comedic fantasy universe, The Amazing Maurice is the story of a cat (Maurice, voiced by Hugh Laurie) and a group of rats who have acquired speech and intelligence. Together they travel from town to town with a young human musician named Keith, running a pied piper scam. Maurice wants them to make as much money as possible, but the rats would like to move on and find a place where they can live in peace and harmony, finding inspiration in their revered text, Mr. Bunnsy has an Adventure.
Lackadaisy, from Iron Circus animation, based on the webcomic by Tracy J. Butler, has put out a teaser trailer for a first season of episodes. This season of episodes will be crowdfunded through BackerKit, which has currently reached the million dollar total donations mark, which is enough to fund the full goal of five episodes.
The comic Lackadaisy (sometimes known as Lackadaisy Cats) tells the story of the titular speakeasy in a fictionalized version of St. Louis, Missouri during the Prohibition Era of United States history. The cast is comprised entirely of fictional cats, so it is furry. The crowdfunding campaign is prominently mentioning it's 2011 nomination for an Eisner Award in the category for Best Digital Comic, but it also has won the Ursa Major Award for Best Graphic Story. A pilot episode of the show was released earlier this year to YouTube.
Welcome to the July edition of Digging Up Positivity! Time flies when you are having fun and fruit flies like a banana. This episode is filled to the brink with charities, because boy, you lot have been busy! Our guest is one of the most known mice from the Netherlands: Miesdo Mouse.
We have a few announcements and if you like the British furs, you DEFINITELY want to watch till the end of the video. From now on you can become a member of this channel and usually you can see the episodes a wee bit earlier just like my other supporters. But of course, you know the deal: Like and subscribe. I would love to spread the positive goodness from this fandom a bit further thanks to your help!
And now, on with the charities, because boy, there are a lot of these this month:
How about a trailer for a movie that comes out early next month this time?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is seventh theatrical movie to star the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and either the fourth or fifth cinematic continuity, depending on whether you count 2007's TMNT as a continuation of the first three Ninja Turtle movies or not.
Neopets tries to get back to its roots and move forward after restructuring due to JumpStart closurePosted by Sonious on Tue 25 Jul 2023 - 19:50
With Neopet’s previous owner Jumpstart Games closing on July 1st, the virtual pet site’s ownership has moved around quite dramatically once again. After briefly moving over to an old JumpStart subsidiary, Fluffy Dog Studios, Neopets is now officially under "World of Neopia, Inc.", a new independent company created following a management buyout deal with JumpStart’s previous owner, NetDragon. The group made a press release to Medium on the 17th of July.
The studio behind the furry Secret Life of Pets and Sing duologies, Illumination's next movie after their super-successful Super Mario Bros. Movie (well, at the box office, anyway; less so with critics) will be a movie about ducks called Migration.
After Anthrocon finished its closing ceremonies this year, it came in with 3 more than last year’s Midwest Furfest’s last year’s final tally. With 13,644 attending 2023’s anthrocon this July, Anthocon has shown a 40% gain from its 2022 count of 9,720.
Other larger furry conventions have also shown significant increases in attendance this year as well. Texas Furry Fiesta from earlier in the year had a 33.5% increase. Furry Weekend Atlanta has also shown significant growth for the year at 43.2%.
While the post-pandemic growth in fandom gatherings is hardly isolated to furry, it has shown the rhyming echo of the 1920s after their world war and influenza pandemic within our own 20s era a century later. The parties we are throwing are getting larger, and people are doing what they can to celebrate after surviving through the past three years.